"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." D&C 84:88
Monday, June 30, 2014
While they were here for the phone call at 7:00 pm, we invited them to have dinner with us. Sister Thomas made some Chicken Casserole with stuffing which was a big hit with the Elders. We caught a picture of them during desert.
We were not very good with pictures this morning as we had accidentally left our camera at home. Sister Thomas was able to get some pictures when we were delivering a duva and pillow to Elder La Fond. The Elders were just waiting in their car for us to arrive because they were on their way to a soccer sporting day with the zone.
In these pictures President Thomas was delivering a special message from the Mission President to each of the missionaries. I was assigned by President Wood to reach out to the missionaries in the East London.
In this picture you can see Elders Grant, La Fond and just barely the heads of Elders Dolben and Lund.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
After Church I interviewed three different members for their Temple Recommends. The branch has a temple trip planned for next week and these members were the final ones that needed to get their recommends. The branch has about 80 members. About 25 members are going to the temple. That shows you the strength of the branch and the commitment of the members.
After Church we had a wonderful lunch with the Wheelers and then drove back to East London.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
At the right time of the season there are whales migrating along the coast. It is truly a beautiful place on earth. There is something calming and peaceful about being by the sea.
It was a beautiful day and the course was in good shape and we all played pretty good. I believe Carolyn shot an 89 and I shot an 84.
In South African tradition, the round of golf included lunch at the half way point. However, because we had such a big breakfast, we played through and had a snack at the end of the round of golf.
The Wheelers are easy going and are fun to be around and great hosts. We will look forward to spending more time with them as we visit the Port Alfred branch.
Friday, June 27, 2014
We stopped here and ate some lunch that sister Thomas had packed for us.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Elder Grand and La Fond’s flat was fairly tidy. Sister Thomas insisted that they inspect the vacuum to see if the bag need emptying. In reality it was so full it is doubtful it has been cleaned in the past. You can see Elder Grant doing a thorough job of cleaning the bag.
In the picture you can see from Left to right Elder Capozzoli, La Fond, Sister Thomas and Elder Grant.
Monday, June 23, 2014
Playing here today ended up being good planning because we had to go to the airport to collect some mail. The airfreight company that the mission uses to send the mail to East London is at the airport.
We both played fairly good today. It was the first time we have had the opportunity to play golf in about three months.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
It is hard to describe because we have lived world wide and have spent considerable time in other locations but here is where our “church” family has the strongest ties. We are grateful for their influence in our lives and the lives of our girls and the love they continue to share with us.
It is thrilling to see all the youth of the Sandton Ward branch out and become “the leaders of tomorrow”. They have taken on callings and grown both personally and in the Church.
We had lunch with Rob and Judy and rested a bit next to their heater before we departed to the airport to travel back to East London. Very good friends.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
Sister Thomas brought the hair cutting equipment so she could give Elder Slabbert a hair cut.
Once the Flat inspections and hair cut were done and district meeting over we went to lunch with Elders Slabbert and Ramsey at the Spur.
We drove back to East London and stopped at the hotel at the Hemmingway's Mall so we could make a reservation for two rooms for Elder Cook and President Merrill at the end of August when them come on a mission tour. We also have to make sure we get a booking at a hotel for the dinner with all the Senior Couples.
From there we went and packed and went to the airport so we could fly to Johannesburg.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
This is Elder Erickson, Thomas, Kaufusi, Tennant, Sister Thomas and Elder Mahoney.
Here we celebrate with the Elders as they claim the number one spot. The boardings were very clean and the Elders should be proud of how they are keeping the boarding. Elders Tennent, Mahoney, Erickson and Kaufusi are thrilled with the rating.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
It was nice to have them here for breakfast. Elder Obonye needs to do some work on finances which he will do this week with his parents and then we can complete the applications next week. Elder Whitworth and I kept ourselves busy while Elder Obonye was busy on the computer and Sister Thomas was cleaning up after the breakfast.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Sister Thomas was driving and found the large alo and wanted a picture next to it. We also walked down to the beach for some pictures.
Monday, June 16, 2014
A sunset from our back yard. Actually, this is taken from two days ago but we were so busy on Monday doing errands that we did not stop to take any pictures. The list was not small. While Sister Thomas cleaned the house from top to bottom, I was fixing the faucet in the kitchen sink, adding at new spout for the filtered water, filed out the security gate latch so it will close properly, tighten up the seats on both toilets, then we dropped off a duvet to be dry cleaned and went to the church to tighten up the rim on the basketball standard. Then we went to the Hemmingways Mall to check out the restaurants because we will have a mission tour here at the end of August with our new Mission President (President Merrill) and the New Area President (Elder Cook). There will be a dinner with the two Presidents and their wives along with the Senior Couples on the Thursday night and the Tri-Zone conference will be on the Friday
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Sister Thomas attended Primary and you can see her visiting with the Primary President (Amanda) and Sister Chase. That is me with Lonwabo Jay who has just had the Melchizedek conferred upon him and been ordained to the office of Elder. I have not interviewed a more prepared person to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Friday, June 13, 2014
This is Elder Mchunu who found a copy of the Book of Mormon with no cover and read it and was converted. The story tells of him joining the church and then being called on a mission to Kenya. Because he could not get a visa, his assignment was changed to South Africa.
It was an enjoyable evening with the Woods and we got to know just a bit more about their home in Alaska and all their kids and grandchildren. It was an evening spent with “grownups” which is a change from our constant association with the Elders. This was a nice experience and will be the last time we are able to associate with them prior to them returning home following a very successful mission.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
All you missionary families out there, let us know if you can pick our your son. While all the Elders love Nando's there are a couple who brought some Kentucky Fried Chicken from across the Street.
Around the table from left to right: Elders Manda, Chaparadza, Matini, Ah-Fua, Andersen, Murphy, Cathemer, Gillespie, Potter, Labrum, Pennington and finally Shabalala.
You can see Sister Thomas and Sister Wood in the back ground in discussion. Sister Wood was there waiting for President Wood as he completed his interviews of all the Elders in the Queenstown Zone.
The Elders are finally to the point where they can see the benefit of getting their flats clean and keeping them that way. It is clear that the spirit resides more abundantly in a clean apartment. Of course, after each transfer, some additional training needs to take place as new Elders arrive.
You can see from top to bottom and left to right: Elders Potter, Shabalala, Pennington, Chathemer, Labrum, Matini Ah-fua and Chaparadza.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
We were some what lucky because the Assistants to the President were in Queenstown so they could come and join with us. With a group of Elders like this it is hard to get a picture of each of them. However, in these pictures you can see each of the Elders in Queenstown and the AP’s. That is Elder Shabalala and then Elder Matini on Sister Thomas’ left. They both managed to blow out their candles.
Around the room in the lower left picture are Elders Cathemer, Gillespie, Shabalala, Manda, Potter, Matini, and Chaparadza. In upper left are Elders Matini, Chaparadza, Andersen, Murphy, Labrum and on the floor, Elders Ah-Fua and Pennington.
We have established a wonderful tradition that was inaugurated by Elder Shongwe. At the end of the evening when the bewitching time approaches and the Elders have to get to their boarding, one Elder kneels down and all the others follow. As it turns out, the last person standing “gets to say the prayer”. We have had the pleasure of hearing some of the most earnest, heart felt prayers as we have had the privilege of kneeling with the Elders. Heavenly Father’s servants kneeling in prayer is a powerful faith promoting thing. This is a little piece of our mission that we will carry with us always.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Dear President Thomas!
You will be a wonderful contribution in the Presidency. Thank you for sharing your talents, experience and wisdom with us….
We love and admire you and your capable wife.
Sister and President Wood
While we were getting to know the them, Elder Gillespie is on my right and Elder Andersen is on Sister Thomas’ left. We learned that Elder Andersen knows many of Alice Christensen’s relatives and also knew all of Jerry and Alice’s three sons who served in Denmark.
Monday, June 9, 2014
This meal was particularly nice because it was the last time we will be together with President and Sister Wood.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Friday, June 6, 2014
Once the post was delivered, we met up with the Elders for district meetings. We had called prior and asked Elder Hixon who is one of the District Leaders in the East London Zone if we could attend with his district.
The training was lead by Elder Roeloffze and we had a good training where his questions were addressed directly to those in attendance and, as a result, all were involved. He also extracted a commitment to undertake better planning through prayer with the individual being mentioned. It was a good meeting.
We were able to deliver some post to these Elders and to surprise Elder Ellingson with his package. He was excited and had to open the box before district meeting started. It was filled with all types of goodies - well done to the Ellingson family.
We watched some training videos during the district meeting and Elder Ellingson insisted that we all get one or two Junior Mints to eat during the “Movie”. He shared with the biggest smile on his face.
That is Elder Ellingson with his package being face bombed by Elder Hixon. The pictures of the District in the upper left are as follows: Elder Hixon, Sister Thomas, Elder Moliki, Elder Roeloffze and Elder Ellingson. It was a chilly day as you can see from Sister Thomas’ wrap.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
It was a good review “Breakfast” and we agreed that we would arrange a meeting with the Bishop so we could come back up and agree how the Bishop would drive some of these things forward.
When we were done, we went over to the Elders’ flats to deliver some items that they needed such as dish washing soap and some bleach and we had to purchase one heater. Then one final clean up at the apartment and we were on our way back to East London. That is me locking the door as we get ready to depart. We really enjoyed this apartment. Sister Thomas did a good job of making it feel like home.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
We arrived in Queenstown and had to pay some bills and then began to move the final items from the flat. We had most of that done by 7:00 PM in the evening and then went out to dinner because there is not much left in the flat.
Later, we went over to visit with the Elders so we could check on the progress of Elder Shahalala’s spider bite.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
East London Zone - Elders Nance & Capozzoli;
Mdantsane Zone - Elders Obonye & Whitsorth
Queenstown Zone - Elders Murphy & Manda.
We invited them over for breakfast prior to the Skype call. The Queenstown Zone Leaders drove down this morning but the arrived here on time. Sister Thomas made a breakfast of French Toast casserole, Hash Browns, Scrambled Eggs and Bacon. It was truly enjoyed by all.
The meeting included the Statistical Report from the Elders around the mission, a message from Elder France on automobiles and Flats and some instructions from Sister Peterson on the new health insurance procedures. There was also some instruction on Finance and budgeting from Elder Peterson.
There were some issues that were discussed from the eElders and President Wood provided some guidance and good counsel on several of these issues.
After Zone meeting, we went out and Elder Murphy had left his car’s lights on. The elders had to push it back up a hill where we tried to jump it. The battery was so dead that after 20 minutes of trying we eventually had to remove the battery and put one in from a different vehicle. Once it was running, we took the good battery back out and replaced it with the dead one. Hopefully, it will be fully charged by the time they drive back to Queenstown.
Monday, June 2, 2014
It is a long story but the incorrect driver was driving the car at the time. It was an Elder with no license so the Elders were off to the police station and then there will be all the insurance forms and the ticket from the accident.
I guess we felt like it was a “Welcome to East London Elder & Sister Thomas" type of moment.
I called President Wood and recommended some actions and he will review and we will follow up next week at the Zone Conference.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
During Primary and Young Men/Young Women Sister Thomas passed out the toothbrushes that Trisha had donated and which we brought back from the United States. The Primary children were very pleased and were grateful. The Young Men and Young Women looked at the gift and wondered for a minute. Then Sister Thomas told them that we wanted to remember their wonderful smiles so if they brushed everyday, we would be able to come back and see their smiles again some day. You can see Sister Thomas beginning to pass them out to the Primary Children. They were also supposed to say, “Mdingumntwana ka Thixo” while looking in the mirror and brushing. That is “I am a Child of God in Xhosa. Soso Mpinda wanted a picture with us.
Sister Xalabile claimed that she wonders if the church is really true to have us go to the office in Cape Town. We explained that we are moving to East London and what we will be doing and she better understood. We will still be in the area, we are just responsible for more missionaries and a larger area, at least for a while until the next couple arrives in the mission.